Monthly Archives: April 2015

What if Game of Thrones characters were…interesting?

selina

It’s almost time for the return of everybody’s favorite incestuous, nerd-gasmic TV mega-spectacle, Game of Thrones, which means it is almost time for me to suffer through an hour of meandering, incoherent, and virtually unrelated series of period mini-films with my roommate while I seethe and count the minutes till Veep starts.

(Veep is a thousand times better than GOT. If Selina Meyer was transported to whatever-the-fuck-eros, she would be queen in 15 minutes and if she had dragons she wouldn’t be a “pet mom” to them while she meandered around the desert, reenacting an even longer, more boring feminist version of Lawrence of Arabia. She’d be getting shit done while being hilarious.)

Game of Thrones is fucking boring. Why am I the only one who sees this? One, maybe two things happen a season —– and by “things happen” I mean a main character is murdered out of nowhere and then everybody talks about it for three episodes.  Yes, there is sex and nudity and violence and torture. This show has made these things boring, which is difficult to do. GOT tries to mask super dull plot exposition by having it delivered by hot naked women, which both RUINS the titillation I feel from bare breasts on the television, and makes it impossible for me to even process the tedious discussion at hand. At this point, the sex on GOT feels like a weekly sex appointment. The nudity on this show is the disinterested hand job of sex on television.

Then there is the violence and the torture, which the show deploys with little regard for its usefulness in relation to the story. Watching what’s-his-name get his dick chopped off in GOT was a lot like watching the Passion of the Christ, except if Jesus was stupid and insignificant and I was completely ambivalent about whether I wanted him to live or die, but mostly wanted him to die faster so we could get through all of this nonsense and get to Veep already.

selina2

The show is boring, and this is coming from someone who loves baseball and Mad Men. I would rather watch Don Draper smoke a cigarette and stare at the Manhattan skyline then watch another plot slowing, wet-blanket throwing “advisor” tell one of a dozen ill-defined minor characters (or not! Who knows what a minor or major character is on this show anymore?) that he should not move hastily, that the future is owned by the ones who wait for the bees to share their honey of their own accord, or some such not-at-all-deep fake folk saying. Yes, caution is better, especially when writing a show in which the creators have no idea how it will end. We are now in season 5 of a set up! Five fucking seasons of setting up a confrontation! WHEN IS THE BLONDE GIRL GOING TO MEET THE DWARF?

It’s just like Chekhov said, if you show dragons in act one, they must breathe fire at their enemies only in bonus footage in the commemorative DVD set.

I’ll admit I’ve never read the books, which I am told are absolutely amazing by lots and lots of people whose taste I do not trust at all. Even worse, when I complain about why the show is terrible, the fact that there are 35 characters who are all interminably boring and whose motivations are totally unclear, or that when the plot gets tedious, or incomprehensible (usually both) the writers’ solution seems to be to add more plot tangents, I’m told that the show actually cuts a lot out, that there are way more characters in the books, and still, still I am told with evangelical zeal that I should read the books because they are better.

The shittiness of something is not diminished by increasing the volume of said shit.

I should also admit that I liked the first season of GOT. There was real political intrigue (not just, “hey, I should be king too!”) and the characters related to one another, their individual struggles reverberating throughout the show’s universe. This was before the show’s diaspora sent all the characters into situations in which the relationships between them no longer existed and documenting their adventures started to feel like a chore, like we are on the seventh installment of the Up Series and we have to check in with everybody even though three of them haven’t said anything interesting in four movies.

Ned Stark was a great character. He had a purpose: he was unraveling a conspiracy, a conspiracy that only gained momentum as the season went on. Early Deanerys was interesting as well, her character actually grew and transformed in some really fascinating ways. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion is by far the show’s best performance and character, which is why he should be on the screen most of the time. Instead his character’s share of the story is continually supplanted by one unremarkable contender for the throne after another, which gives me the feeling of watching an early primary presidential debate on a stage filled with insane longshots, nameless faces, and idiots. Why can’t we narrow this down to Tyrion and Deanerys and Jamie? Why are the kids who insist on walking everywhere still on the stage? Where are they walking to again? WHY IS NEWT GINGRICH STILL HERE?

I understand that nobody agrees with me that GOT is poorly written and its characters boring. I understand that I sound old, cantankerous, or, even worse, like a philistine who doesn’t have the attention span to sit through a sprawling pseudo-historical epic in a layered fantasy world.

The people have clearly spoken about GOT. People LOVE this show. People look at me with a mix of shock, horror, pity and condescension when I express my doubts about the quality of what often turns out to be their favorite show.

But, as the great Selina Meyer once said, “I’ve met some people, ok. Real people. And I gotta tell ya, a lot of ‘em are fucking idiots.”

(I’m also totally aware of the possibility that I am one of those idiots.)

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